Lawrence W. Newman has been a partner in the New York office of Baker & McKenzie since 1971, when, together with the late Professor Henry deVries, he founded the litigation department in that office. He is the author/editor of 4 works on international litigation/arbitration.
Michael Burrows, Formerly, Of Counsel, Baker & McKenzie, New York.
Your client calls you and tells you that she has good news and bad news. The good news is that she has just learned that her company has won a very large arbitration award against an agency of a foreign state. The bad news is that, while she would like to confirm the award in the United States (because she has heard rumors that the state agency may have assets in the United States some time over the next few years), the agency currently has no contacts with the United States and no assets in the United States. You respond that, in fact, there is only good news because, under a recent decision by the D.C. Circuit, an arbitral award against a foreign state agency can be confirmed without regard to the agency’s “minimum contacts” with the United States and even if it has no assets here.